Geek Retreat – Adaptating during the Cost of Living Crisis

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Stewart and Laura Brass, owners of the Geek Retreat store in Sunderland, offer their insights into how the franchise operation has adapted to changing customer behaviours and preferences during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

  1. Embracing Experience-Centric Shopping

    One notable shift in customer behaviour observed during the cost of living crisis is the desire for a more experiential visit to the store. Customers are no longer solely looking to purchase products and leave; instead, they seek a place where they can spend quality time. Geek Retreat’s model, which includes opportunities for socialising, learning new games, and enjoying café facilities, aligns perfectly with this trend.

  1. A Second Home for Hobbies

    As people invest more in their hobbies to cope with economic challenges, Geek Retreat stores have become a second home for customers. Friends regularly meet in-store, embracing the core value of community that Geek Retreat promotes. This sense of belonging and camaraderie has become increasingly vital during these times of financial uncertainty.

  1. Appeal of Alcohol-Free Social Spaces

    Younger customers, in particular, have shown a shift in behaviour during the cost of living crisis. An alcohol-free social space is now more appealing than ever, aligning with Geek Retreat’s inclusive and family-friendly environment. This shift has expanded the franchise’s customer base and solidified its role as a community hub.

  1. Expanding Product Offerings

    To cater to evolving customer preferences, Geek Retreat has expanded its product range offerings. Recognising that some product categories no longer sell as well as they once did, the franchise now provides a wider selection of stock in-store, ensuring a continuous conversion of shoppers to buyers. This adaptability ensures that customers find what they need while supporting the franchise’s sustainability.

Stewart and Laura Brass’s experience as Geek Retreat franchisees in Sunderland illustrates the franchise’s ability to adapt to changing customer behaviours during challenging economic times. By embracing experiential shopping, fostering a sense of community, appealing to younger demographics, and expanding their product offerings, Geek Retreat remains a thriving and adaptable business in the face of economic uncertainty.


The Geek Retreat franchise team love to hear from people interested in their franchise, so it is definitely worth making sure this is absolutely the right opportunity for you – and you are the right person for the opportunity and that all starts with having an initial chat.

Don’t worry – you won’t be put under any pressure or given a ‘hard sell,’ so if you want to know what it’s like to be part of the Geek Retreat success and operate in a thriving market with growing demand, you can, either, view the full franchise profile HERE.

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